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19 APRIL 2012

Charles Dickens and ‘Boz’ (his alter ego)

Cambridge publishes the tale of Charles Dickens’s alter ego: how and why Dickens created him, and how he later had to extinguish him.

Robert Patten, recently appointed the first fellow of the Dickens House Museum and considered the leading scholar on Charles Dickens and his relationship with publishers, narrates the fierce struggle Dickens had to create an alter ego, Boz, and how he then struggled to contain him. 

Dickens's rise to fame and his worldwide popularity were by no means inevitable. He started out with no clear career in mind, drifting in and out of the theatre, journalism and editing before finding unexpected success as a creative writer.

Patten's revision of Dickens's biography in the context of early-Victorian social and political history and print culture opens up a more unstable, yet more fascinating, portrait of Dickens.

The book tells the story of how Dickens created an authorial persona that highlighted certain attributes and concealed others about his own life, talent and publications. It is a complicated narrative of struggle, determination, dead ends and new beginnings, as gripping as one of Dickens's own novels.

Charles Dickens and 'Boz': The Birth of the Industrial-Age Author
 by Robert L. Patten will be published in May. Pre-order your copy here.

Thursday, 19 April 2012


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